[lit-ideas] Re: Tune in and turn off

  • From: "Andy Amago" <aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2006 07:42:52 -0400

They were defined in the other exchanges between Donal and me.  I think feeling 
too much and feeling too little are flips sides of the same thing.  For 
example, going ballistic, or getting hysterical are both overreactions, often 
by depressed people (which is to say, not feeling people, the Japanese for 
example erupting into war, or the cartoon riots), or on a very small mundane 
individual level too; the ubiquitous "he/she knows how to push my buttons", 
never mentioning that it's *my* buttons that are the operative words and so on 
and so on.  Emotions are like anything else, they need to be practiced if one 
is to get skillful using them.  That's much harder than it sounds, since 
universally we're so conditioned to not feel.  I would say that as bad as we 
are here in the U.S., we're probably better than in most of the world, which 
isn't saying much.  Unfortunately, we're also going to war because we 
absolutely can find no other alternative except getting hysterical, but that's
  another thread.

----- Original Message ----- 
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: 4/27/2006 2:44:21 AM 
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Tune in and turn off

I'm getting this urge for you guys to all define "feel" and "emotion" for 

Julie Krueger
feeling either way too much or far too little

========Original Message======== Subj:[lit-ideas] Re: Tune in and turn off
Date:4/24/06 6:39:56 A.M. Central Daylight Time
Sent on:    

> Are you saying that people never know what they're 'feeling'? If your 
> hypothesis is that people are (always?) mistaken about what they're 
> feeling (they think they're feeling lust but they're really feeling 
> compassion) what's the criterion for saying they're really feeling 
> compassion, not lust? Who determines that? If you're saying that nobody 
> ever knows what he or she is feeling, what does the word 'feeling' mean?

Ah - the unmistakeable whiff of Wittgenstein.

"Who determines that?" No one. It's guesswork.

Btw it seems to me the possibility that we are systematically self-deceiving
in our rationalisations of our emotions is meaningful - as is the possibility
that such rationalisations do not exhaust what we are actually feeling or
what can be known about the feelings we have. It seems to me that nobody ever
knows _for certain_ what he or she is feeling - basically because, though we
might feel otherwise, we in fact know nothing _for certain_.     

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